Pride And Vanity In Flannery O Connor's Good Country People

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem once wrote, “The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.” The dragon that he spoke of was temptation that distracts us from God and from the route we are meant to take. In many of Flannery O'Connor's works, including "Good Country People," "A Late Encounter with the Enemy," and "The Displaced Person," the dragon takes the form of pride and vanity. In these three short stories by O'Connor, the characters of Helga, General Sash, and Mrs. McIntyre are all distracted, by their pride and vanity, from reality. In O'Connor's story, "Good Country People," Helga, a crippled and bitter young woman, sees herself in a superior light. Surrounded by what she sees as a…show more content…
Though in reality he was likely just a foot-soldier in the Civil War, his granddaughter and a film producer have previously advertised him as an essential part of the iconic war. However, in his extremely old age, he himself is unable to remember the time he spent as a soldier. In part due his granddaughter's presentation of the general and the attention he receives from the public due to his supposed role in the war, the general sees himself as an incredibly important and desirable person, particularly to women. His vane and prideful view of himself leads him away from the reality that he is an extremely old and barely-alive individual. There is an ironic twist in the story when the general dies while sitting on stage for his granddaughter's graduation. Though viewed as such an important figure to the public and to himself, the most important event in his life, his death, occurs without notice, despite his conspicuous position when it occurs. In the end, the truth catches up to him and he is finally able to remember the reality of his past in the final moments before his

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